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Alan Eliasen <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 14 Apr 2010 05:10:36 -0600
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On 04/13/2010 07:31 PM, Marc Brinker wrote:
>> From: Mitch Wagner
>> I sometimes wonder what Twain would have thought of Twitter, blogging,
>> Second Life, etc. He was an early technology adopter: Telephone,
>> typewriter, Paige Typesetting Machine. It's easy to imagine him diving
>> into social media.
> It's easy to imagine him complaining about it, too. 

   "It is my heart-warm and world-embracing Christmas hope and
aspiration that all of us, the high, the low, the rich, the poor, the
admired, the despised, the loved, the hated, the civilized, the savage
(every man and brother of us all throughout the whole earth), may
eventually be gathered together in a heaven of everlasting rest and
peace and bliss, except the inventor of the telephone."
   -- Mark Twain

   I think he also perfectly described the uselessness of Twitter's
one-way, useless information flow, in which you hear only responses to
unfindable questions:

   "Then followed that queerest of all the queer things in this world--a
conversation with only one end to it.  You hear questions asked; you
donít hear the answer.  You hear invitations given; you hear no thanks
in return.  You have listening pauses of dead silence, followed by
apparently irrelevant and unjustifiable exclamations of glad surprise or
sorrow or dismay.  You canít make head or tail of the talk, because you
never hear anything that the person at the other end of the wire says."

  Alan Eliasen
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